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Ford's Dearborn, MI plant, 1928. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty

For the first time in a decade, the U.S. worker shortage is so pronounced that it is visible in suppressed aggregate hiring numbers, economists say, and it will probably become worse.

Quick take: Ahead of Friday's new U.S. jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ADP, the payroll company, said the economy produced 178,000 new jobs in May, which economists said is strong but muted compared with demand.

  • Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moodys Analytics, said the number could have been higher if companies had been able to hire as many workers as they wanted.
    • "Job growth is constrained for the first time in a decade," he said in a conference call this morning.
  • A record number of positions are unfilled in manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, financial services, leisure and hospitality businesses, Zandi told Axios in a followup exchange of emails.

All of this has occurred without the full effect of the $1.5 trillion tax cut, economists said.

  • In good news, wages for young, new entrants to the job market surged by 5% in April, Zandi said.
  • That is almost twice the pay growth for all private-sector workers, which has been at about 2.6% since the end of 2015, said Martha Gimbel, research director at Indeed.

Yes, but... the Kansas City Fed, in a report earlier this month, said wage growth overall continue to trail other recent economic recoveries.

"By late 2005, roughly four years after the end of the 2001 recession, year-over-year wage growth had surpassed 3%, and it reached 4% shortly thereafter. In contrast, nearly nine years after the end of the Great Recession, year-over-year wage growth has still not reached 3%."
— Kansas City Fed

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
25 mins ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.